Castillo de San Marcos

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States; it is located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.

The Castillo de San Marcos was a post of the Spanish EmpireĀ guarding St. Augustine, the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States. It also protected the sea route for treasure ships returning to Spain. Although the Castillo, built 1672-1695, has served a number of nations throughout its history, it has never been taken by military force.

During the 18th century, the Castillo went from Spanish control to British and back to the Spanish, all by treaty. The Spanish remained in power in Florida until the area was purchased by the United States in 1821. Called Fort Marion at this time, the Castillo was used by the U.S. army until 1899. The Castillo was made a national monument in 1924.

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